To take the mess of life and make meaning from it is what all poets seek to do. For Will Wells, recipient of the thirteenth annual Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, this includes reaching across centuries and continents, into the minds and hearts of disparate individuals—Albert Einstein, Andrea Yates, the traveler from Porlock, Dante, or Holocaust survivors, including his own grandmother—to extract the personal value embedded there for him.
The career of Matthew Arnold as an eminent poet and the preeminent critic of his generation constitutes a remarkable historical spectacle orchestrated by a host of powerful Victorian cultural institutions. The Cultural Production of Matthew Arnold investigates these constructions by situating Arnold’s poetry in a number of contexts that partially shaped it.
Groundbreaking anthologies of this kind come along once in a generation and, in time, define that generation. The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets identifies a group of poets who have recently begun to make an important mark on contemporary poetry, and their accomplishment and influence will only grow with time. The poets gathered here do not constitute a school or movement; rather they are a group of unique artists working at the top of their craft.
Victorian poetry shocks with the physicality of its formal effects, linking the rhythms of the human body to the natural pulsation of the universe.
William Pritchard’s collection of essays and reviews on poets and poetry ranges from Dryden and Milton through the major American and British poets of the last century. One of them, Philip Larkin, answered an interviewer’s question about what he had learned from his study of other poets by snapping back, “Oh, for Christ’s sake, one doesn’t study poets! You read them, and think: That’s marvelous; how is it done?”
In seventeen volumes, copublished with Baylor University, this acclaimed series features annotated texts of all of Robert Browning’s known writing. The series encompasses autobiography as well as influences bearing on Browning’s life and career and aspects of Victorian thought and culture. Volume XI of The Complete Works of Robert Browning contains two strikingly disparate long poems from the 1870s, Fifine at the Fair and Red Cotton Night-Cap Country.
Developing a perspective on Victorian culture as the breeding ground for early theories of the unconscious and the divided psyche, The Demon and the Damozel: Dynamics of Desire in the Works of Christina Rossetti and Dante Gabriel Rossetti offers a new reading of these eminent Victorian siblings’ literature and visual arts.
Photographing Eden presents the first full-length collection of poems by a major new talent. The work meditates on several ideas, the crux of which is Eden: spirituality, environmentalism, and the relationships between men and women. Observing, often through the lens of a camera, our state in the world, the poems try to focus sharply on what often seems a blur.
Like a voyage to the Portuguese islands of the title, the poems in Azores arrive at their striking and hard-won destinations over the often-treacherous waters of experience—a man mourns the fact that he cannot not mourn, a father warns his daughter about harsh contingency, an unnamed visitor violently disrupts a quiet domestic scene. The ever-present and uncomfortable realities of envy, lust, and mortality haunt the book from poem to poem.
In his provocative, brave, and sometimes brutal first book of poems, Roger Sedarat directly addresses the possibility of political change in a nation that some in America consider part of “the axis of evil.” Iranian on his father’s side, Sedarat explores the effects of the Islamic Revolution of 1979—including censorship, execution, and pending war—on the country as well as on his understanding of his own origins.
Blank verse—unrhymed iambic pentameter—is familiar to many as the form of Shakespeare’s plays and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Since its first use in English in the sixteenth century, it has provided poets with a powerful and versatile metrical line, enabling the creation of some of the most memorable poems of Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson, Frost, Stevens, Wilbur, Nemerov, Hecht, and a host of others.
As he approaches eighty, Turner Cassity may finally be out of control. His hatchet has never fallen more lethally, meaning if you have the stomach for him he is more enjoyable than ever. Under the blade come Martha Graham, Johann Sebastian Bach, musicologists, tree huggers, Frank Gehry, folk music, folk art of all times and all places, folk… . There are, however, his unpredictable sympathies: Edith Wilson, skyscrapers, Pontius Pilate, Pilate’s legionnaires.
In seventeen volumes, copublished with Baylor University, this acclaimed series features annotated texts of all of Robert Browning’s known writing. The series encompasses autobiography as well as influences bearing on Browning’s life and career and aspects of Victorian thought and culture. In the 1880s, the aging Browning showed once again the remarkable versatility of his lyric and narrative talents.
Taking the warp of dream, sometimes nightmare, and weaving it with the ordinary world, the poems of The Armillary Sphere, Ann Hudson's award-winning debut collection, do not simplify the mystery but deepen it.
In her second collection of poems, Jennifer Rose writes primarily of places and displacement. Using the postcard’s conventions of brevity, immediacy, and, in some instances, humor, these poems are greetings from destinations as disparate as Cape Cod, Kentuckiana, and Croatia. Rich in imagery, deftly crafted, and imbued with a lightness of voice, these poems are also postmarked from poetry’s more familiar provinces of love, nature, and loss.